Selling Medicare Supplement plans is a booming business. Medigap plans were enrolled close to 12.6 million American seniors in 2016, up six percent from 2015.
The sale of Med Supplement plans or Medigap is doing well with not signs of slowing down. In fact, the most recent Healthcare Business Strategy report, authored by Mark Farrah Associates’ (MFAs), Medicare Supplement plans paid out $21.7 billion in claims in 2016 and earned $27.9 billion in premiums.
The most popular Medigap plan was Plan F, which is considered to be one of the most comprehensive policies available on the market today. According to MFAs figures close to 7 million people enrolled in Plan F representing 55 percent of the market. However, in 2020 Plan F will no longer exist as an option for newly eligible Medicare recipients thanks to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2016 (MACRA). A second Medigap plan that grew in popularity was Plan G, registering a jump of 364,000 members in 2016.
American seniors could always rely on the Medicare program to help them stay healthy, while allowing them to choose plans that suit their lifestyle and budgets. However, the future of Medicare is uncertain. While on the campaign trail, Trump stated that he would not cut Medicare or Social Security. However, the budget director Mick Mulvaney, told a conservative radio host that he is looking for ways to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, working around President Trump’s campaign trail promise to leave the programs untouched.
Medicaid may face significant changes and become a block-grant program where each state gets a fixed sum of money from the federal government, which may be a smaller amount than what they receive now. At present, the amount of money a state qualifies for is based on how many people are enrolled in Medicaid.
Currently, according to figures presented to the Senate Budget Committee by Mulvaney, the national debt has risen up to $20 trillion, and without reining in social programs such as Medicare and Social Security the debt will continue to grow. Mulvaney advocates core fundamental changes, such as increasing the retirement age and trimming Medicare benefits for wealthier recipients under the age of 55 to help reduce the burgeoning debt.
Last week, President Trump’s proposed budget landed on Capitol Hill. The plan cuts Medicaid, welfare, food stamps and the social security disability program. Trump’s budget, however, faces opposition from both parties and will likely not become law.